No Italian restaurant is complete without a daily order or dozen of chicken fettuccine alfredo. The beloved butter, parmesan, garlic, and Italian seasonings flavors are favorites in kitchens worldwide. Interestingly, the recipe isn’t as popular in Italy as in other countries that have eagerly adopted it.
Though the authentic recipe doesn’t call for heavy cream, many cultures, including the U.S., like to incorporate it into their alfredo. For our purposes, we will introduce you to the original concept of alfredo without cream, though we also offer the option to add it if you so desire.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the simple ingredients at your local grocery store and get cooking! Your taste buds will thank you.
What Is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo, sometimes called al burro, is a delectable white roux that blends the best elements of dairy for a rich and buttery sauce. Italian Alfredo Di Lelio came up with the idea in the early 1900s, and it’s been a quintessential dish ever since.
Traditionally alfredo sauce ladles over grilled chicken and noodles, such as fettuccine. However, some diners prefer to use it as a dressing for vegetables, and alfredo serves many other mealtime options. Those with alternative diets will find it flexible and versatile to suit their needs.
There are quite a few reliable jarred sauces on the market, but none are as good as homemade alfredo sauce. So keep reading to find out how to make our alfredo sauce from scratch, and pick up some helpful tips along the way.
Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- ½ cups Butter
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups Whole milk or heavy cream (optional)
- 2 Cloves of garlic, diced
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ¼ teaspoons Black pepper
- ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Place a wide skillet or saucepan on the stovetop and turn the heat to low.
- Melt a butter stick in the pan without letting it become so hot that it starts bubbling. Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes. At this point, the flavors should mix well and fill your kitchen with the unmistakable aromas of the Mediterranean.
- Add the Parmesan cheese in small portions. Let the butter coat all of it as you continue to stir gently. When this step is done, you shouldn’t be able to differentiate the cheese from the butter, as it will all have blended into one homogenous cream.
- Now is when you should add the cream if you so desire. This step is optional according to whether you prefer a thicker alfredo, though it will taste great with a base of just butter and cheese. If you choose to add cream, make sure it is the full-fat option. Otherwise, you’ll lose some of the flavors.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like, you can also add Italian seasonings. When each ingredient has merged with all the others, you will have a white roux, thinner if you didn’t add milk or cream.
- The trick with this sauce is to prevent it from hardening, as the dairy elements will thicken enough to form a hard coating on top. Keep the pot at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, guaranteeing the sauce stays creamy as you go.
Serve and Enjoy!
Once your alfredo sauce has reached the desired texture, it’s time to add it to the rest of your meal. Traditionally, the cream sauce goes directly into the noodles or veggies it’s supposed to complement. Next, lightly toss the sauce into your dish so that the roux ingredients completely coat each noodle.
You might also experiment with adding veggies directly into the sauce instead of using it as a dressing, working with any protein source, as well as fettuccine or other pasta.
An alfredo sauce recipe with milk isn’t all that different from what we’ve outlined above. Simply add whole or 2% milk into the sauce towards the end when the other ingredients have blended. Taste it every minute or so to ensure a good balance, though this part of the recipe is more intuitive rather than measuring out ingredients!
You can also use heavy cream if you want the “Americanized” version of alfredo. Though it adds plenty of flavor, it’s not exactly nutritious. For an even richer version of alfredo, the combination of butter, parmesan, garlic, and cream will suit most palates. The question is simply how authentic you want to remain in your cooking venture.
Tips & Tricks for Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- For the best flavor, don’t cut corners. Grate parmesan cheese right off the block instead of the pre-shredded option. Garlic cloves have a more potent tang than the minced kind in a jar. Even though regular milk adds calories and fat, you shouldn’t use skim milk.
- It’s possible to substitute other types of cheese for parmesan. Gruyere and mozzarella both work great, with the former adding a nutty taste to your alfredo.
- Save the pasta water to add to the cream sauce as a thickening agent. (Or, use it to water your houseplants.)
- Pair your alfredo sauce with a dry and fruity white wine, such as pinot grigio or chardonnay. If you and your dinner guests prefer red, pinot noir is the best compliment.
Nutrition Information of Alfredo Sauce Recipe
Dieters beware: alfredo sauce is not a good choice for strict meal restrictions. With multiple thick dairy elements piled on top of each other, it offers plenty of natural fats and is loaded with calories. However, if you’re trying to stay aware of your fat intake, simply focus on portion control, or add less sauce to the meal you prepare.
Individual cooking situations may vary, but one serving of alfredo sauce will generally result in 16g carbohydrates, 28g protein, and 100g total fat content. One cup is about 800-1000 calories depending on the ingredients used.
Simple, inexpensive, and quick to make, any cream sauce for pasta is a great choice for a weeknight dinner and a stunning authentic meal to delight guests. Alfredo sauce is beginner-friendly and doesn’t take much experience to prepare yourself.
Enjoy the rich flavors of Italian cuisine right in your own home with our homemade alfredo sauce recipe. Mangia!
I have made this recipe several times and I love it.
OMG I need more stars, This was Fantastic!
My whole family loved this!